Ripped tiles. Wait, you can’t do that. Not traditional Portuguese Azulejo ceramic tiles…
Summoning the subversive intentions of rebellious youth, the Portuguese muralist Diogo Machado, aka ADD FUEL, does precisely that.
The ripping is not literal, of course, but the recurring idea of tearing back layers of tradition to reveal something less expected underneath has been his theme on streets for years. Whether it is a blend of pop and sarcasm or simply an escape into the adventures of childhood, ADD Fuel has mastered the art of hiding truths in plain sight with precision and allegory.
Also, he does make tiles; we’ve inspected the kiln personally just outside his native Lisbon. The colors, patterns, and homey motifs are easy to glaze over in such a city, which is perhaps why he beckons you to come and see the real story. You may imagine the specific dysfunction in this household, but Diogo’ll tell you the truth about what has been happening if you look a little closer. Nothing is what it appears to be.
“In my work, I always suggest an adventure, a journey through focused attention in the composition,” he says of his new show YOUTH ETERNAL, which opened Saturday night at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Gallery in Echo Park, CA. He intones that you’ll need to take a moment to experience “the discovery of nuance through layers, patterns, allegories, and the unstoppable constructive dynamism of the story I present in each piece.”
He doesn’t limit the works to studio pieces exclusively: his large-scale wall works across many cities have the effect of transforming, disarming: creating homey energy, sometimes in the oddest of places. His newest mural here in Los Angeles is just outside a place described as “Subliminal Projects’ favorite local watering-hole,” with the name Little Joy Cocktails. The new work has also spawned a new collaborative screen-print with Add Fuel and Fairey in a limited edition.
As with all expressions and output by the artist, the wall invites you. “It guides the viewer to discover intricate details, and a story over time,” he says.
Add Fuel. “Youth Eternal” is now on view at Subliminal Projects. Click HERE for more information about this exhibition.
NOV 12 – DEC 10
1331 W. Sunset Blvd • Los Angeles, CA 90026